Thursday, September 27, 2007


Unequal Opportunity Blasphemy

Righty though I am, I am no prude. My own sense of rightness about my sexual desires is pretty evident to anyone who knows me. And although I no longer practice the Catholic religion that shaped my life for almost four decades, I have worked through a lot of my differences with my ancestral tradition and retain a very deep appreciation for it. I have little patience with the all-too-common adolescent anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity that passes for spirituality around here. And like a lot of righties who have their personal issues with religious bodies, I believe that strong and healthy religious traditions are a crucial part of what makes our society work.

Living in San Francisco, blasphemy is no rarity in my experience. This is a pretty irreligious place, and the gay ghetto where I live provides especially frequent examples. The robust and theatrical sexual styles which the Folsom Street Fair celebrates do not put me off at all. Several of the people in this poster are folks that I know.

So why does this poster offend me?

Well, it takes a revered Christian image, the Last Supper, and publicly sexualizes it in a way that is purposely designed to outrage. It is no secret to anyone who pays attention that liberal culture delights in practicing contempt for Christianity. And any Christian individual, group or institution that responds negatively will immediately be painted as oppressively censorious, humorless, lacking in sophistication, etc. And among gays, the paranoia about the "Christian Right" will be activated. (George Bush, by the way, only has a year or so to open up all those concentration camps for homos that the professional LGBT victims have been squawking about...he better hurry up about it. God, can the man do nothing right?).

My further reason for reacting as I do is that this kind of blasphemy --surely imagined as some brave artistic statement by its perpetrators-- will never be enacted on other religions. Why? Because it is safe to trash Christianity. The script is secure and there will be no consequences.

We have just been treated, courtesy of Columbia University, to a startling revelation by the President of Iran, that there are no Persian homosexuals. I guess the ones that were publicly hung from cranes were the last ones in the country. Here we have a religious tradition, Islam, which is the most violently homophobic on earth. What are the chances, do you think, that the brave souls who put together this poster would some day take a Muslim religious scene and perform a similar sexualization? Just think of the possibilities: all those Muslim men at Friday prayers, row on row with their faces to the ground and their asses in the air.

But the blind multicultural pieties which suffocate gaydom make insulting this religion and its highly excitable practitioners unthinkable.

So I am offended by the poster not only for the prima facie reason that it treats a sacred Christian image contemptuously in public, but because its cachet of brave resistance is actually just stupid conventionality, narcissism and, ultimately, cowardice.

Ego-dystonic heterosexuality

Before it disappeared entirely from the official Bible of American psychology, the DSM, there was a last gasp at a pathological form of homosexuality, "ego-dystonic homosexuality". This meant that someone had a homosexual orientation but was unhappy about it and wanted to be treated and made straight. These are the kinds of folks who go into "reparative therapy".

I watched a film tonight called Big Eden, from 2000. I saw it in the theatre when it came out. Tonight I was struck by one of the characters, surely a rarity in literature of any kind, the "ego-dystonic heterosexual". (If you intend to see the movie, there's a spoiler here, so be warned).

The gay man who is the central character, Henry, has had a two decade passion for his high-school best friend Dean, a straight man. Dean, played by the extremely-easy-on-the-eyes Tim DeKay (late of the late Carnevale), returns to his home town, a divorced dad of two young boys and wants more than anything else to connect with his high-school friend. In fact, he wants to connect so much that he courts him and tries to make love with him. But he fails. His heart's desires and his sexual desires don't match up. It is astonishing to see this man, who clearly has an emotional passion for the main character, grieve his failure to connect with Henry in a fully romantic way. He clearly wishes that he were gay. He tries to be. But he's not. And it breaks his heart.

I have one and a half experiences of this very rare kind of guy in real life. Many aeons ago, I was completely in love with a straight man. And he was pretty damn close to being in love with me. He once told me that if I were a woman, he'd marry me. This is the "half" experience, since he regretted that we could not connect more deeply, but aside from some outrageous talk and some even more outrageous acting out (when drunk), he was pretty clear about who he was, at least in terms of sexual desire.

I do now know a heterosexually-oriented man who is quite clear and insistent about wishing he were gay. He certainly appreciates the male form and even speaks of gay men as some kind of superior species whom he admires and envies. But his own stubborn sexual desires go in the direction of women almost entirely. He is very much an ego-dystonic heterosexual.

How rare, I wonder, are such men? And what is the likelihood that the DSM will one day create a diagnosis for them?

Monday, September 24, 2007


The theft of my car on Labor Day weekend, taken from the street near my house to its eventual demise in the Bay Area hellhole known as Richmond (America's 12th most dangerous city and California's #1) , really disoriented me. More than I wanted to admit.

Choosing a new car provoked a lot of anxiety in me. But no more Hondas, the most stolen car in America! Here's the new vehicle: red Isuzu Rodeo, a compact SUV.

May my car carma improve.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


It's been a week of extremes and I'm sorta tired. Not physically, but emotionally. High point was an intense and playful m2m connection. God, I love that. It's the best. Low point was facing the reality of my car being stolen and vandalized by some humanoid thugs.

So I'm just lying around this evening checking out new cars on line, doodling, cleaning...and I switch on a TV program about of group of HIV+ men undertaking a sailing race on the Pacific.

Some of their stories sound very familiar. Though I remain HIV-, men with the virus have been a regular part of my life for over two decades. Perhaps it's familiarity, or a lot of medical information, but I have never found in myself the impulse to distance myself from HIV+ guys. Men I have loved have died from AIDS. I have conducted their funerals, carried their coffins. And men I love now have HIV. How much love would be lost from my life if I cut them off.

Listening to some of these guys on the show talk about fear, about pains me. It never occurs me to turn down a connection with a guy because he is positive. But I know that many men do. I understand it in my head, but in my heart it makes no sense to me. And if I imagine a man I know and care for who has HIV being rejected because of that...yeah, it makes my throat tight.

I am, in the lingo the websites, PozFriendly. How could I not be? One positive man wrote me to say how grateful he was for that and what a special person I must be. Nothing special about it.

Most of the time in the last twenty-some years I have made good choices. But I have taken calculated risks, too. "There but for the grace of God..." About that, I'm positive.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Intellectuals at play

My alma mater, Columbia University, will be welcoming the Iranian president to the campus for a "challenging" conversation. The University is, however, unable to tolerate the challenging notion of ROTC. ShrinkWrapped has it right.

I wonder if President Bollinger of Columbia would have shown similar interest in having the South African President over for a challenging chat back in the apartheid days? Prolly not. Gee, I wonder why?

(File under "What's Wrong With America").

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What a relief!

The Michigan U office of LGBT affairs is looking to change its name so it will be less...exclusive.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poor victims

Fashion supermodel Naomi Campbell...yes, I know who she ex, butch fella though he be, is a fashionista...played her victim race card recently and then, oops....I wonder when we'll hear her, "My bad.

And uberliberal MSNBC newsperson Keith Olbermann decides the Foxs News is worse than Al-Qaeda and The Ku Klux Klan. Wow. Even more credible than usual.

He must have been referring to Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera saying that if he saw anti-illegal immigration activist Michelle Malkin, he'd spit on her. Classy, no? Well, at least they got him to apologize.

We'll see if Naomi and Keith follow suit. Yeah.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Men in love

I saw Brokeback Mountain tonight at the Castro Theatre, part of Gay Rodeo Weekend. I have seen this wonderful flick numerous times. Tonight what struck me was the emptiness in the film: empty spaces in nature, between people, inside people. As usual, the scene where Innis finds the shirts makes my chest tighten and brings tears to my eyes. Lost opportunity. Failure of imagination and nerve.

When I got home, I checked out my blog list and found a description of the anniversary celebration which A and MJ had. Two Marines, both severely wounded and still unable to live independently, marking their years together. My chest tightens and tears come to my eyes. Here we have an opportunity welcomed, abundance of imagination and nerve. Men --admirable and honorable men-- in love.

Friday, September 14, 2007


While wandering through the cyberlabyrinths, I came across a very creepy YouTube piece by some creature named Chris Crocker, acting out what I fear is a partly serious defense of She Who May Not Be Named On This Blog (And no, I don't mean Hillary Clinton). Another great candidate for "What's Wrong With America".

Much discussion ensues and some of it actually makes sense! (aka, I agree with it) . This kind of teenage ghetto-ghyrl behavior gets caught up in lots of defensive PC sentimentality. But what it is is the classical combo of narcissism, histrionics and sadism that constitutes the pathological Queen, an outcropping of the disturbed psyche all too common among gays. It's not a lifestyle, it's a character disorder.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Smarty pants

Just took an online IQ test at Tickle...while watching Superman Returns...and I'm 131. Pretty close to my usual. Puts me in the top 2%, brainwise...even though I was watching Superman Returns :))

"Your Intellectual Type is Insightful Linguist. This means you are highly intelligent and have the natural fluency of a writer and the visual and spatial strengths of an artist. Those skills contribute to your creative and expressive mind."

But as my ex never tired of reminding me, you can be really smart and really stupid at the same time, and that your intellectual quotient and your emotional quotient are not necessary connected.

Maybe that part of why he's my ex.

Post 9/11

I got through yesterday just fine. But today, not so fine.

Six years ago yesterday, when I saw those images on the television, I couldn't stop crying. For the next month I had acute stress disorder. And the world has not looked or felt the same to me again.

I think of that day every day. But I am rarely able to think about it because it still evokes brokenhearted sorrow in me, and seething rage. I am feeling some of that today.

This past winter I had an addition done to my 14-year-old tattoo. Part of it is IX XI...the Roman numerals for 9 11. It is literally under my skin...for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007


Billy Clinton --for whom I voted twice, by the way-- announced to the annual gathering of the saints at Davos that he felt most ideologically at home in...Iran. And then, so no one would mistake his words for an out-fo-context slip, repeated the praise to Charlie Rose.

Michael Moore outed himself in France as a longtime Marx-inspired socialist and wondered with his typical contempt if it would take a baseball bat to wake Americans up to that fact.

And Osama Bin Laden has apparently singled out for praise that paragon of USA Jewry, Dr. Noam Chomsky.

Did I say something recently about starting a series called "What's Wrong With America"?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Lion of Chaironeia

This statue stands on a tall pedestal over the grave of the Sacred Band of Thebes, an elite military company in ancient Greece. It was composed of 150 pairs of lover-warriors. Archeologists have found the remains of these men where they were buried after their final battle, against Philip of Macedonia in 340 BC. When Philip surveyed their bodies on the field, he said, ""Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly."

My cyberfriend A. and his lover MJ, both Marines severely wounded in Iraq, are marking their second year together next week. They met while in the hospital. They belong to an ancient and noble lineage. This is for them.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Since I am a self-confessed (self-admitted, self-acknowledged, practicing)...American, I sometimes think I should balance out my patriotic attachment to my homeland with a series called "What's Wrong With America". It could consist of a list of names.

In serious competition for First Place: Michael Nifong vs. The President and Faculty of Duke University. Corruption masquerading as highmindedness: the besetting sin of the Boomers.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It takes a village...

...Oh, sorry, Hillary. It takes the threaten to take an as yet unborn child from her mother because a doctor who has never met the mother suggests she might develop a very rare psychological syndrom.

And once the decision is finally made, anyone who discusses it in public...including the mother...will be held in contempt of court!


Sunday, September 02, 2007



BTW is cybershorthand for "by the way". I have learned that when someone overtly reduces the importance of the following remark by prefacing it with "by the way", we are actually getting to the heart of the matter.

So, BTW, my car got stolen.

It was old, so the insurance will provide very little towards replacement. I will have to discharge a chunk of change that I really can't afford. I will have to go through all the business of buying a new one. And I will have to play all the regulation, form-filling and on-the-phone and on-long-lines bullshit that comes with automotive regulation: titles, plates, insurance, registration, parking permits, etc.

The guys who stole it will not be caught.

I am trying not to let this ruin the next couple of weeks of my life, since, in the cosmic scale, it is annoying, and nothing more than that.

This, BTW, is how I actually feel about it.

On becoming even handsomer :)

The oddity of men calling me "handsome" in the last year has not, despite my effort to practice dealing with it, ceased to be...a little odd. I no longer make overt protests, just say "thanks", and move on to other things. I think it has a lot to do with my levels of self-confidence, playfulness, directness and, well, testosterone.

This week a guy saw my online profile and wrote, "I know you must get this a lot, but you look like an older Brad Pitt."

Now THAT, I have to say, while very charming, is something I can make no sense of AT ALL. "I know you must get this a lot..." about never? I did send the fella a thank you note, though.

Well, at least, being older and wiser --ok, older--, I had the good sense to avoid Angelina Jolie!
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